Halo Infinite is the next game in the Halo franchise. I was brought on as a contract gameplay designer for the campaign team in January 2018. While on the team, I am tasked with making some of the tools and scripts to help other designers to create content quickly taking advantage of technology made by our engineers. I am also working with other designers to create gameplay experiences for our players. This includes scripting, layout, and encounters. Alongside this implementation, I have been working with several leads and teams to write specs to share our desires with engineers and artists.
Sword Grab was a quick prototype I put together over August 25th and 26th. This was my first major prototype with Unreal built using visual blueprint scripting. Over about 24 hours of work time, I was able to put together the major player controls and get basic animations in. All models and animations were made by me in Maya. This was also an attempt to deal with creative frustration and try to make something that was wholly my own. The only thing that I didn't make was the basic 3rd person controls which were from the default, Unreal 3rd person controller.
This was the project I was part of for my second ETC semester long project. This project was for the Alice Project inside of the ETC. The team was tasked with experimenting and documenting how to teach programming in a VR environment, namely the Google Daydream. We experimented using a combination of physical and digital prototypes that we tested with students at our program and at their schools. The prototypes were tested about once a week in schools with students taking programming classes. The final prototype was demonstrated to Eric Brown, the director of the Alice Project.
I was the lead producer and a designer for the project which required me to lead a team of 6 for 16 weeks both in terms of scheduling and adapting our design as we progressed through the semester and began testing. As a producer, I used techniques such as agile and scrum to plan and change the project as the semester progressed. I also had to help smooth out some team difficulties that arose due to communication issues and clashes of personalities. As a designer, I used physical prototyping and data collection to understand how students used our application and adapt our designs to get students to transform in the ways we wanted them to. Outside of these two roles, I helped with our Wwise Unity integration for our sound.
This was a project that I was a part of for my first ETC semester long project. This was a project for Legendary Entertainment. The team was tasked with experimenting the possibilities of location based mobile games, like Pokémon Go, using their proprietary GPS marker system, called Spatial. The way we experimented in this area was to develop a prototype application where users could physically move through their environments and destroy virtual representations of real buildings. For the prototype, the entire CMU campus was given custom assets to represent the buildings and other places were given a pool of general building assets to pull from. The final prototype was shown to several executives at Legendary who viewed our project and the insights we provided as valuable and helping them to understand where their platform can be useful.
I was the producer for the project and had to manage a 16 week schedule for a team of 6. This included setting up meetings with faculty instructors and our client; setting up schedules for the team and ensuring deadlines were hit by the team members; ensuring team members had the resources they needed; and communicating the project to the entire ETC faculty. As the producer, I used techniques such as scrum and RACI charts to organize our team and enforce opportunities for members to communicate. Outside of producing, I helped run our playtesting and provided some input on the overall design. I also wrote the image server for our system where we stored user photos so they could be shared to Facebook.
This was a tool that I made to experiment with creating a twitch chat parser. This wasn't an extremely complex tool or something new. I just wanted the chance to explore this area for a project that I was researching in order to try and pitch. The major technical achievement in this project was that the tool has three threads in Unity which doesn't handle C# threads very well. One thread reads IRC messages, another writes to the IRC channel, and the last thread is the main Unity thread. The threads are able to function by having them write to a list which is then handled in the main Unity update loop.Running this on some large audience twitch stream showed that this solution can easily hold up to the demands of major streams with thousands of viewers. In some cases, this parser even seemed to out process the web display of the chat. This may be due to the way Twitch handles sending and processing the messages through the IRC. Either way, this proved to be a very powerful tool that can be used to make most twitch games a reality.
This was the last world I worked on for BVW. The team was given the CAVE platform and the prompt to make something for the ETC fall festival. The team decided to make a singing game since we felt that it would fun to get a group of guests singing together having fun. For this round, I did the improv acting and implemented the obstacles and rowing systems.
This game was one of 13 selected to represent the ETC at the festival. Despite some technical issues with PS Move on the night of the festival, all the guests that got to play enjoyed the experience.
This was the third world I worked on for BVW. In this round, my team was assigned the Jam-O-Drum platform and the prompt of making something in a week. My team decided to make a game where you steer with the wheel and pound on the drum to eat because we wanted to get our players hitting the drum quickly. In this round, I did all the sound work and helped to debug some of the coding issues our game had.
Most of the feedback we got was that people could only play one or two rounds before their arms got too tired and that players wanted more feedback when they were getting points. We didn't get the chance to incorporate some of this feedback because of the short timeframe. However, had we been given more time, we would have added some effects to show when players are getting points.
This was the second world that I helped create for BVW. We were assigned the Vive VR platform and had to create and experience that a naive guest could easily pickup and make 3 predictions about what they would do. For this reason, we decided to make a Superman game since we thought it would be easy for players to understand what they needed to do once they knew they were Superman.
Our Naive tester for this round did everything we expected them to. This included putting their arms out to fly, taking down robots, and destroying the UFO at the end. For this project, I worked on the sound design including the voice over to get the players to fly, the crushing noise when a robot is punched, and the background music. Outside sound design, I was the producer for the team meaning I helped the team plan out and keep on track our progress using agile and scrum during the 2 week time frame. I also helped to plan the overall experience design of flying practice to robots coming to you to you tracking down robots around the UFO and finally taking down the UFO.
This was the first world that I helped create for BVW. We were assigned the Vive VR platform and had to make a game where the guest had to help character A who is afraid of character B. For this round, I was producer, provided some input on the overall design and did all the sound design.
Most of the feedback we got about the game were requests for more feedback to help the player understanding when they did something correctly and feel a sense of progress. I incorporated this feedback in the sound design by ramping up the music over time and adding distinct sound effects to help convey when certain events happened.
Space Commander is a top down, asymmetrical multiplayer game where 3 criminals face off against one cop for control over a space ship. The cop is trying to deliver the criminals to the prison planet and the criminals are trying to escape while on route by taking over the command room. To progress the criminals must take over the systems on the ship. Each room gives the owners some benefit whether it be better weapons, robots, or healing. This game was made as the final project for EECS 494 and was presented at the end of the year games showcase.
Spy is a game prototype made for EECS 494 built around the idea of having one player control several characters that have specific, non-overlapping roles. In this instance, I tested with a "spotter" who could move around the environment and had to tag all the enemies for a "sniper" who could see the entire environment and would be the one who has to take down the enemies to allow the spotter to advance.
Resource is a game prototype made for EECS 494 built around the idea of only having one resource that acted as life, currency, and ammo. This was made in a few hours with limited playtesting due to the demands of the course but from the experiences of those wo played, it showed that this idea could work as a core component of a game and gave me ideas for how to expand it into a larger experience.
This was a recreation of the Ducktales NES game made for the Game Design course at the University of Michigan. It was made to help students in the class get used to programming in Unity without requiring them to focus too much on the design aspects. We had to implement a level or small portion of the original game and then implement a portion of our own design that stuck with the design of the original game.
However, due to some complications enrolling in the class that lead to me possibly not being enrolled, I ended up completing the project with only myself when this was a two person project and I did the majority of it half of the assignment time.
Toy Chest is a two player cooperative jigsaw puzzle game that allows players to use either a mouse, the keyboard, or a gamepad. It was built for autistic children with the goal to get them communicating with the other player whether it's a family member, counselor, or another student.
This was made for an introduction to engineering course focused on making games targeted to helping autistic students in their treatments. This game was made in Game Maker Studio with 3 other people. My contribution was that I programmed all the main gameplay components except for the timer and toy shelf area. This includes the movement and piece selection, grid system, and puzzle shuffling mechanics.
Rip Johnson is a platforming game with the main mechanic being the player's ability to split themselves in half. The player always has control over the top half when split and the full body when they have both a top and bottom.
This was made for a 48 hour game jam held by Wolverine Soft using Game Maker Studio and with 3 other people. I worked on some of the basic mechanics and did all the level design except for the final boss fight.